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Friday
Dec142012

Prepping is Like Camping

Like a lot of people I have been watching NatGeo’s “Doomsday Peppers”  it is a pretty interesting show for a variety of reasons.

• This subject should be discussed. Especially in light of Hurricane Sandy, Katrina, and lots of power outages during winter weather over the years. Having supplies to take care of yourself and your family in an emergency makes sense.

• Another interesting part of this show is that the people they select seem overly paranoid. Maybe the producers are editing the footage to accentuate that aspect. A lot of these people are very dramatic. You’ve got to love reality television. Tell someone that a camera is coming to their house, and they get all excited about all the stuff they have been doing and get real intense about it. It would be nice to see some calm people on the show. It is almost like they are making light of their subjects in the way it is put together. Of course some people don’t need any help in looking foolish when they aren’t used to being on camera. I thought the Orthodox Rabbi raising rabbits for food in the back yard was odd. Really? Why not chickens? At least they are kosher. The guys who raise fish in their back yards seemed pretty normal though.

• At the end of the segments they always give stats about the odds of the Prepper’s worst fears coming true. Usually the odds are quite high against the particular incident happening in the near future. Examples like the Yellowstone Caldera supervolcano exploding. Just because Yellowstone has produced three very large eruptions over the last 2.2 million years doesn’t mean that you should expect another eruption. This particular case will probably be an extinction event anyway. Or the magnetic pole shifts. Most reversals are estimated to take between 1,000 and 10,000 years in duration, not days. The latest one, occurred 780,000 years ago.

But what about smaller natural disasters that happen with frequency that we experience several times in a decade?

Something that I have thought about since watching this NatGeo show, is a program that KCET Los Angeles (former PBS station) produced called  “Surviving the Big One: An Earthquake Survival Guide”.

It was presented by some L.A. Firefighters. It was a extremely thorough look at how to survive and prepare for a big quake in California. Unfortunately you can’t find out much about it online beside the link I attached to the title above. I wish they would put this up on YouTube as it was a good resource for an area that needs it. I watched it several times when I moved to L.A. in the early 90’s.

 

EDIT: After writing this I tried Bing instead of Google and it led me to a copy of this show on Amazon, it is VHS (I don’t have a VHS machine anymore). Amazon only showed one copy when I bought it.

AMAZON: “Surviving the Big One: An Earthquake Survival Guide” VHS (1989)

The Northridge Earthquake. I moved back to Phoenix from Van Nuys in late 1992 (about 10 miles from the epicenter), about a year before this devastating earthquake. Even when I went back to the San Fernando Valley to visit months after the quake, the destruction was everywhere. Property values plummeted, and many moved out of the state. Here are some facts I found on Snopes.com.

“On 17 January 1994, Los Angeles area residents were shaken awake at 4:31 A.M. by the seismic event that would come to be known as the Northridge quake. In the usual way of earthquakes, those few seconds of violent shaking took a terrible toll.  The quake killed 57 people,injured another 9,000, and caused property damage in the $13-$15 billion range. It closed seven freeway sites and two hospitals, and left 150,000 people without water, 40,000 without natural gas, and 25,000 without homes.”

California and the entire West Coast of the U.S. is a very active seismic zone, all the way up to Alaska. The whole Pacific Rim is known as “The Ring of Fire” . So in light of what can and has happened, where I live, this is a real threat. 150,000 people without water, 25,000 people homeless! It has been 18 years since Northridge. Maybe that is why I don’t notice people talking about Earthquake preparedness lately. KCET used to run the “Surviving the Big One” program on a regular basis. Haven’t seen anything like that docu in recent years. Before the Northridge quake there was the 1989 San Francisco quake during the World Series. “The quake killed 63 people throughout northern California, injured 3,757 and left some 3,000–12,000 people homeless”. This quake was probably the reason the KCET documentary was made. 

Consider the recent Japan 2011 Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami, and the devastation there. “On 12 September 2012, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,870 deaths, 6,114 injured, and 2,814 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 129,225 buildings totally collapsed, with a further 254,204 buildings ‘half collapsed’, and another 691,766 buildings partially damaged. Around 4.4 million households in northeastern Japan were left without electricity and 1.5 million without water.” Then there is the level 7 nuclear meltdown of 3 reactors from the Tsunami damage of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

We need to talk about earthquake preparedness. 

There are different natural disasters in regions of our country that need to be prepped for. Twisters in the Plains, Hurricanes in the Eastern Seaboard, blizzards in the North. Earthquakes in the Pacific is our ongoing danger.

When I think about it, Prepping is a lot like camping. You are going to be someplace (home maybe) without the conveniences of civilisation for a while - what do you need to make your life comfortable, or a least liveable? I don’t mean go nuts stocking up a years supplies, but at least a minimum of what you need to survive long enough in an emergency until order and services are restored. Or a plan to move out of where you are to somewhere safe.

I have to say if it wasn’t for this Doomsday Prepper show I wouldn’t have been reminded about the earthquake preparedness program I saw in the 90’s. Being prepared for a quake event like those that have happened several times in my life. I am just adding to my camping supplies, I always liked camping and now I am just thinking about prepping like an urban camping trip. A trip that I don’t schedule.

 

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